Whether you’re making first contact in a bar or from behind your keyboard, there’s no shortage of anxiety that we endure in the process. What if we say the wrong thing? What if we come on too strong? What if they’re not interested?
It can feel paralysing and, frustratingly, it’s not something which gets any easier as we get older. The good news is though that help is out there.
At Maturity Dating, countless people every day take their first step to getting to know somebody new. It’s our pleasure and our privilege to support amazing over 50 daters, and as online daters ourselves, we’ve learned a thing or two about the ideal opening message.
So, with first impressions at stake, what do you need to keep in mind when you’re firing off that first missive?
Drop the formalities
We’re not saying jump in there with your most relaxed prose, but overly formal greetings like ‘Hello’ and ‘Good afternoon’ can make your opening message come off more like a business proposal than the sort of thing a potential date might say.
So, keep it relaxed, go ‘Hi there’ or ‘Hey’ instead. You’ll find that a less formal posture means it’s easier for the recipient to respond.
Check your spelling and grammar
This is a huge one as studies have found that the biggest turn off when online dating is bad spelling and grammar, and that includes textspeak too, so drop that too.
It’s perhaps an obvious one, but good spelling and well thought out sentences suggest intelligence, and that’s always attractive in the opposite sex. Remember, you’ve got all the time you need to write a message online, so make use of it.
Talk about their interests, not their body
You might be physically attracted to the person you’re messaging, but putting that front and centre in your opening message can come off as shallow, despite it being a well-meaning compliment from your end.
Instead, take clues from their profile about what interests them and ask interesting questions. They might be into travel, if so, why not ask where they’ve been lately, or where their favourite place is? Maybe you could talk about your own experiences. The options are endless!
Be yourself, even if you’re a little awkward
Let’s face it, many of us simply don’t love who we are. We’re our own worst critics at times, but the really good news is that there are people out there that’ll be attracted to you just the way you are.
So, when you’re sending those opening few messages, don’t be afraid to be yourself, even if that means being a little awkward. In fact, studies have found that overconfidence in men can be a turn-off, with messages that include words like ‘awkward’, ‘sorry’ and ‘apologies’ doing better than messages which come out of the gates with outrageous confidence.
Meanwhile, the opposite is true for women, with high confidence seen as a hugely attractive trait. Interesting, ey?